The Philippine peso headed for a third weekly gain, the longest winning streak since September, after the central bank reiterated it will intervene in the market to stem volatility.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has scope to maintain a presence in the market to smooth fluctuations in the peso and isn’t targeting a specific level, Governor Amando Tetangco told reporters in Sydney today. The Federal Reserve’s decision to keep on scaling back monetary stimulus has created a “spillover effect” for the global economy, he said.
The peso climbed 0.2 percent this week and 0.3 percent today to 44.65 per dollar at the noon break in Manila, according to prices from Tullett Prebon Plc. It’s gained 1.5 percent this month, the third-best performance among Asia’s 11 most-traded currencies after the Indonesian rupiah and Thai baht.
“The peso is consolidating its gains for the month and may trade between 44.30 and 45.30 for the next few weeks,” said Alan Cayetano, head of foreign-exchange trading at Bank of the Philippine Islands in Manila. “There’s still the risk that the emerging-market issues will appear again soon.”
The Fed started trimming its monthly bond purchases this year as the world’s biggest economy improves, reducing demand for assets in developing markets. Fund outflows from emerging Asia dropped to $1.2 billion in the week to Feb. 19 from $2.2 billion the prior week, according to a report from Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., citing EPFR data.
The peso touched 45.475 per dollar on Feb. 4, the lowest level since August 2010. One-month implied volatility, a measure of expected moves in the exchange rate used to price options, rose 20 basis points, or 0.20 percentage point, to 5.95 percent this week and was little changed today.
The peso is undervalued and there’s no fundamental reason for the weakness, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said Feb. 19.
“We are very proactive; we’re trying to control any speculative activity,” President Benigno Aquino said in a Feb. 19 interview. There’s no danger that the Philippine economy will overheat even as annual growth exceeds 7 percent, he said.
The nation’s foreign-exchange reserves stood at $80 billion last month, down from $83 billion in December, official data show. That’s more than the five-year average of $65 billion.
Government bonds rose for a fourth week, with the yield on the 6.25 percent notes due November 2016 falling three basis points to 3.19 percent, a two-week low, according to midday fixing prices at Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp.
Money sent home by Filipinos working overseas climbed 9.1 percent to a monthly record of $2.15 billion in December, the central bank reported on Feb. 17. Remittances (PHWRTOTL) rose 6.4 percent in 2013 to an all-time annual high of $22.76 billion.
The nation’s balance of payments posted a record deficit of $4.48 billion in January when a net $1.8 billion of stocks and bonds were sold by overseas investors, based on central bank reports issued this month.
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